The other night, I visited my daughter’s kindergarten classroom and sat in her miniature chair as the teacher gave a recap of the class progress so far. In that little chair, I learned something my daughter doesn’t know yet: she’s being ranked.
Inside a folder for each parent were charts with bell curves that showed how well our kids were doing in each subject, relative to the other students. In one subject, my daughter was doing better than most students, and I noticed that I felt a surprising amount of relief. In another subject, she was just doing okay, and I suddenly felt defensive about it.
Sitting there in my child’s little chair, I realized that it wouldn’t take much to make me one of those parents, one of those dads who lives vicariously through his child and gets all bent out of shape anytime someone doesn’t affirm the greatness of his offspring. It’s easy to do though.
Our kids are the best evidence of our good judgment, our ability to contribute something positive to the world, and the superior quality of our gene pool. If our kids — like most kids of the world — are just average, then maybe we’re just average.
Let me tell you something, folks: I want my kids to do their best, but I also want them to be at peace with being average. Because whether they like it or not, they are average in most areas of life. And to the degree I’m unable to handle that, it’s a reflection of my unwillingness to parent them the same way God parents His kids.
God has an entire family of children who are not just average — compared to His endless holiness and goodness, we’re infinitely below average. All of our goodness and holiness are borrowed from Him; we bring no awesomeness to the table that isn’t a gift. And here’s the thing: God is okay with that. He doesn’t have anything to prove.
We, His children, are not trophies; we are the objects of His affection. To the degree we reflect His love for us, He has succeeded as a parent. That, I think, should be our goal with our kids as well.
Today, celebrate your child’s averageness by not caring about it, by loving that child for who he or she is, by reflecting the love your heavenly Father has for you.